Okino Computer Graphics has released its V5.3.2 set of JT PLM/MCAD bidirectional import and export converter modules. With the JT converter modules, users can import and export geometry, hierarchy, materials, and texture-mapping data to native JT disk-based MCAD, aka DirectModel, files. Users can also import PMI graphical data and then re-export to compatible Okino export file formats, such as SketchUp and U3D. Okino built the modules on the official JT Open Toolkit from Siemens AG, ensuring the consistency of JT files across the enterprise and throughout the PLM supplier chain. JT, suitable for use throughout a product development life cycle, supports various file sizes and multiple tessellations and levels of details—from compact files with facet data to rich files that hold associations to the original CAD information, assemblies, product structure, geometry, attributes, metadata, and product manufacturing information.
Okino Computer Graphics; http://www.okino.com
Autodesk has launched AutoCAD Freestyle, its 2D drawing software package for creating professional-looking drawings and sketches, layouts, and plans that can be shared. The software is designed to offer a simplified user interface and to require no training. AutoCAD Freestyle enables a variety of users—from hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers to professionals working in home improvement, gardening and landscape design, and light or specialty construction—to produce professional, 2D layouts and plans. Previously known as Project Cooper, a technology preview from Autodesk Labs, AutoCAD Freestyle is now available for download from Autodesk for $149; the Autodesk eStore is selling the electronic download for $79 for a limited time.
Automatic Duck has upgraded its Media Copy and Pro Import AE timeline integration solutions. Media Copy now enables users to read and manage Avid bins and project files, simplifying the editing workflow. Pro Import AE 5.0, the latest version of the company’s timeline translation tool for Adobe After Effects, offers compatibility with Adobe’s Creative Suite 5 from Adobe and support for Motion 3 and 4 project import. Version 5.0 also features DPX/Cineon sequence support from Final Cut Pro; support for MXF4Mac and other MXF QuickTime components; updated third-party, plug-in translations; the option to replace Final Cut Pro proxy media with R3D files; and improved text import with font, color, size, and style info. Now available, Media Copy 3.0 is priced at $95 and Pro Import AE 5.0 is priced at $495.
Automatic Duck; http://www.automaticduck.com
Noise Industries’ development partner SugarFX has updated its Video Wall plug-in with new video and 3D options, auto-animation features, and other capabilities. Video Wall 2.0 with keyframable parameters enables users to twist, bend, and animate multiple images and videos for unique wall effects. Users also gain added complexity modes, including Standard, Advanced, and Expert modes and presets for creating more intricate presets and effects. Video Wall is an FxFactory- powered plug-in designed to extend the visual effects capabilities of Adobe After Effects CS3/CS4, Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion, and Apple Final Cut Express. Video Wall 2.0 is a free update for Video Wall 1.0 users and available for $69 via the Noise Industries Web site.
Noise Industries; http://www.noiseindustries.com
Shotgun Software and Tweak Software have released an integration package combining their VFX and animation production tools, Shotgun and RV. Shotgun is a flexible, scalable Web-based project management system for digital production studios, whereas Tweak Software’s RV is an image and sequence viewer for VFX and animation artists. The combination is intended to help studios track, organize, play, and review their work quickly and easily. The integration module enables users to move between the programs quickly, launch Shotgun-aware playback from anywhere in the pipeline, load neighboring shots to see shots in context, display Shotgun metadata in the RV player, easily Trim or reveal handles and slates, and swap in high-res frames, QuickTime movies, or alternate media. The new integration module is provided at no additional cost to users of both products.
Shotgun Software; http://www.shotgunsoftware.com Tweak Software; http://www.tweaksoftware.com
Eyeon Software announced Stereoscopic Site Licensing, designed to provide studios with a roadmap to affordable GPU rendering. A site license of multiple tools—such as Fusion, Rotation, and Render Nodes—is intended to provide greater creativity and workflow efficiency. Rotation 6.1 combines with Fusion 6.1, for example, to introduce new tools for rotoscoping, keying, and color management for shot prepping, touch-up, tracking, and depth-map generating for stereo conversion. Eyeon’s Stereoscopic Site Licensing is priced at $9995 for two Fusion 6.1, 10 Fusion Render Node 6.1, and 10 Rotation 6.1 licenses; a $19,995 package delivers five Fusion 6.1, 20 Fusion Render Node 6.1, and 20 Rotation 6.1 licenses.
Eyeon Software; http://www.eyeonline.com
E-on Software has upgraded its Vue 8 Frontier, software that combines nature-creation tools with built-in Poser and Daz 3D character rendering for producing images and videos filled with characters and scenic nature. Based on the Vue 8 core application, Vue 8 Frontier will import static Poser or Daz 3D models as Collada files through DazStudio. Vue 8 Frontier also supports the native shading tree of Poser and includes a free version of SkinVue, a VuePython-powered utility for enhancing the realism of human skin. Vue 8.4 Frontier is available for Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7 as a 32- and 64-bit application, and on Mac OS X 10.5+ as Universal Binary. Vue 8.4 Frontier is priced at $99, and is available at no additional cost for existing Vue 8 Frontier users.
E-on Software; http://www.e-onsoftware.com
Desktop 3D Printing
Bits from Bytes unveiled the BFB 3000, a desktop 3D printer for outputting quick, affordable prototypes and models from CAD files. The BFB 3000, able to print objects from converted STL files on an SD card, comes with an optional second head for printing support material. It is geared to professionals and hobbyists alike.
Bits from Bytes; http://www.bitsfrombytes.com